Monday, July 24, 2006

Games Played July 22, 2006


One key to happiness – GAMES


While Mason was away to Seattle with some friends for a week, the rest of us played games that won’t count in our family records. We had a great time.

I was surprised that Joel and Natalia wanted to play Huggermugger. Katrina and Natalia were partners; Dan and Joel were partners; and Sue and I played separately. I love to play Huggermugger and have seldom lost that game. I started off quickly, finding the second letter of the secret word on my first turn, but things went to pot after that. I kept getting close to seeing another letter, only to fall just short (like being able to list nine words, when I needed ten). In the meantime, Sue only found one letter, also, and kept getting tough questions. The two teams began acquiring letters, until they both had several. I was beginning to get embarrassed, given my poor showing. Then, I hit a streak – I found that the fifth letter was a blank, so I didn’t have to go for the sixth one, since it would be a four-letter word. In one turn, I managed to get both letters numbered 3 and 4. I knew the word was –UBA, and tuba was the only word I could think of, so I took a guess and won the game. My record continues. It was fun to watch both Natalia and Joel on their team turns – both of them made some real contributions to their play. The problem for them is that the game is designed for people older than them, with lots of references to things they have never heard of. Still, they enjoy the challenge, and they very likely will be beating me on their own one of these days.

The grandkids love to play Nertz, so we played a six-person game of it to the score of 50. Results: Joel first, Natalia second, me third, Sue fourth, Katrina fifth, and Dan last.

I took Inklings to their house for the day, and the four adults played it. I enjoy that game, but only win occasionally. This was my day, although the scores were very close. Results: Me first, Katrina second, Dan third, and Sue last. Natalia got interested in watching us and asking questions about the game. She said she would like to try it sometime, so we left the game at their house. They should have some time to try it before school starts in August.

We hadn’t played Through the Desert for quite a while, so we played a five-player game of that. I was really doing well, leading in three colors and prospects for two very nice areas. But, as normal with five players, one color began running short very soon. It was one of the colors I was hoping to have the most of, so I had to keep choosing white camels almost every turn. Joel took the last two of them and “stole” the white caravan points from me (I finished with the most blue and purple, however). Joel is an amazing game player. Because I had concentrated on trying for the longest caravans in three colors, which was too much to expect with five players, I had ignored my potential high-scoring areas and never got any of them completed. I had also not jumped on very many oases early, so I had not accumulated many points during the game. Although I thought I would score well, I ended up in fourth place! Sue wrapped up a large area, uncontested, and won the game. Results: Sue first, Joel second, Katrina third, me fourth, and Dan last. Dan had started with many points from several oases and was well out in the lead. I blocked him in a couple of places, playing defensively which really hurt his game, but also didn’t really help mine. I certainly used the wrong strategy in this game! I look forward to playing it with six players again in the future – that is a very challenging game.

We had time for one more game, and Joel requested Hunters and Gatherers. The game went quickly, and it was difficult to tell who would be the winner, since we all had some good valleys and river systems. Results: Dan first, me second, Katrina third, Joel fourth, Sue last.

It was a great gaming day. We missed Mason. Next weekend, Katrina has a conflict, and Dan and Joel are going to a local HeroScape competition, so we may not do any gaming next Saturday. The following Saturday will find just Mason, Sue, and me available, so we haven’t made plans for that day, yet. After that, we should return to full family gaming, except for a weekend in September when Mason is going golfing in Arizona. I’m still looking forward to trying Australia – I wonder whether I’ll ever get to play it. . .

I’m holding off on a new game order until after we play Australia, so I need to find a way to get it to the table.

--- Gerald … near Denver, Colorado
aka gamesgrandpa -- A grandpa who is a mile high on gaming

2 Comments:

At July 25, 2006 5:05 AM, Blogger Fraser said...

Through the Desert goes to six players? I had always assumed it was 2-5. It's quite tight with five, but six would be competitive!

 
At July 25, 2006 10:47 AM, Blogger Gerald McD said...

Fraser -- You are absolutely correct. TtD with six players is very competitive. Although the game was designed and produced for a maximum of 5 players, I used the five additional caravan leaders (one of each color) to create a sixth set (black, colored with a permanent marker). We played with all the camels, and each player used only four camel colors, as is done with five players. We have played only one such game and debated whether each player should use only three colors. With more experience, we should be able to identify the best approach.

 

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